I wrote the following in the aftermath of the Queensland floods that began in December 2010, and continued into January 2011. For four years my husband and I lived in an apartment on the banks of the Brisbane River while he worked on a project in Queensland.
As I watched the television coverage from my Melbourne home I saw Riverwalk, a pathway I’d frequently traversed, turn into debris. My mind became inundated with the floods of life, and the consequences of disaster.
first a pickaxe to break through the crust
years hard baked in the drought of denial
then the shovel
depth brings change to the colour and texture
of the growing mound beside the gaping hole
along with fragments of things long broken
exhausting unrelenting slog
begun on the wings of possibility
is the digging all there is?
in the heat of summer
roads become rivers
debris flowing like yachts under sail
Riverwalk pathway broken away
floating down the waterway it was built to enhance
waters flood the excavation
no power for pumps
bucket replaces shovel
when today’s tragedy collides
with the search for the skeletons of wounded truth
old bones grow flesh
breaking the surface of muddy water
digging is not all there is